Massive groups.pricing increase - we need a plan B.


As a look at the membership details for this group

show, we currently have  4706 members. Due to the disk space usage, we have to have a premium account. We currently pay around $220/year for this group, which one member has kindly paid for several years, but I had suggested to him that next time I would ask others to contribute. I don’t think getting $220/year will be difficult.

However, it seems that are going to be changing their pricing 

Premium Starting at $20/month or $220/year Up to 400 members, then $0.05/member/month or $0.55/member/year for each member above that 30GB storage Subgroups Collaboration Suite Donations Direct Add

If my arithmetic is right, that means that it will cost $220/year, plus another 0.05*(4706-400) =$215/per month. That means 

$220 + 12x 215 = $2803/year. That’s more than a 10x increase!  A look back at the history of the changes to pricing show significant increases 

1) Originally it was free to transfer from Yahoo to

2) Then a premium account was needed to transfer from Yahoo. That was $110

3) Next the price of the premium account doubled to $220/year. 

4) Now the premium membership fees look to be rising by a factor of more than 10. 

5) WTF next???

Even if we could get $2800/year, I think we should look at another solution, because we don’t know what will change next. 

I recall saying on the VNWA group once, that if I had a forum as they do for a commercial product, I would use open-source software on a server I controlled. I personally would not want my business tied to a system I have no control over. 

I can get a reasonably well specification of virtual private server (VPS) in the UK for £9/month for the first 6 months, rising to £18/month after that. (All similar services give a discount for the first few months, but the £18/year will not rise dramatically, as there are similar services, all competing with each other.) Add in the cost of a domain name, and it still comes to less than $300/year.  Others could create backups, using rsync, so if I pegged it, all the data is available elsewhere. 

Essentially what I am thinking is that some open-source software is used. The problem with most/all of the VPSs is that there block emails going out, but that restriction can be lifted, although they may insist on those annoying capchas. 

There are some people only using this as a mailing list, others making  use of the web, and we have a substantial file storage area. A wiki is very useful - see the one here 

for another group I run

I am quite keen to have a Wiki so material can be better organised.

If the prices are going to rise the way I think they are, then I am not keen to stay on here, even if the money is found. I see open-source as a better solution. I don’t know what solution is best. 

(Group owner, who hates Windows.)

Dr. David Kirkby,
Kirkby Microwave Ltd,
Telephone 01621-680100./ +44 1621 680100

Registered in England & Wales, company number 08914892.
Registered office:
Stokes Hall Lodge, Burnham Rd, Althorne, Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 6DT, United Kingdom

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